The Pros and Cons of Relocation

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Should I Stay? Should I Go? signpost drawn on a blackboard

In the television show The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon doesn’t like to stray from his routine. He eats the same meal at the same restaurants, he has oatmeal on Oatmeal Day, he does his laundry on Laundry Day. He even has one special place that he likes to sit. Although the character’s need for structure is a little extreme, most of us have a little Sheldon in us – we find comfort in our daily routines.

When you are trying to decide if relocating is the right choice for you and some hesitancy creeps in, it could be based on your fear of losing a comfortable routine – even if you know you are ready for a change. You have your route to work, your favorite place to stop for a cappuccino, your dentist, and your favorite corner grocery store – not to mention friends and relatives who live nearby. If you are planning on leaving your job, that may cause even more anxiety. Even if you are ready for a career change, leaving the comfort of the familiar is never an easy decision.

First, decide if now is the time to move. Make a list, starting small and working outward. What don’t you like about your current apartment? Your complex? Your neighborhood? Your city? Consider traffic, crime, schools, shopping areas, and anything else you consider important. Next, make another list about what you do like.

Make similar lists for your job. Changing careers is scary – especially in an unstable economy. Are you looking for a complete career change, or something similar to your current position? Decide what you want, then start looking now – before making the move. If you at least have an idea of the job market in the city of your choice – if not a new position before you move – you’ll cut down on some of the stress moving can cause.

Finally, set up a time frame of the steps you need to take and when you want to take them. Plan your move as far out as possible, giving you time to go and explore the area (everything from schools to coffee shops), find the right apartment, and get some job leads. While you wait and plan, start saving. You’ll need money to cover moving expenses, to cover first and last months’ rent plus a security deposit, to cover setup costs (electric, water, cable, etc.), and enough to live on until you start getting a regular paycheck.

If you come to the conclusion that you are ready to relocate, don’t let complacency hold you back. It may take a few weeks, but soon you’ll have a new favorite coffee shop, a new route to work, and your new favorite corner store.